June 19 – Isaiah 42

The header in my Bible for Chapter 42 is “The LORD’s Chosen Servant.” Isaiah is turning a corner here, and focusing on Jesus, the coming Servant-King. He continues to bring comfort to a people about to be attacked and either killed or relocated. He speaks not to just his generation but to generations to come about the big, ultimately wonderful, plan of God. I see in these verses references to Jesus’ first and second coming. I am comforted and energized as I read.

The comfort comes from Isaiah’s reassurance that God cares for the weakest reed and the tiniest flickering candle. He notices the weak. He doesn’t stomp on them but brings ultimate justice for those who have been sorely tried and used. He sees us in our worst states, when we feel broken beyond repair, and tells us we will be healed. I love that Jesus will be a “light to guide the nations.” I love that He will open the eyes of the blind (and we see that in His first coming, don’t we?). I love that He frees those who are captive and in dark dungeons. We can be held captive in so many ways, can’t we? Jesus came to set us free.

The energizing comes from the passages that assure me that Jesus will come again as a warrior. There will come a day when all the sins and evils of this world are so piled up that there is no longer anyone who will have a heart to repent. And God’s fury will be unleashed against the wickedness and He will come again and stop it. John tells us in the Book of Revelations that the martyrs cry out to God, “How long?” as they wait for the release of others who are being tormented. God will right the wrongs. It won’t be pretty. But it will be just and right and then? Righteousness will reign and sorrow and suffering will flee.

I wonder how Isaiah knew these great truths. Did he sit and talk with God? Did he see kaleidoscope pictures? What an honor to be chosen to share these incredible truths with thousands of generations needing to hear. He ends this section with a plea to those who are not listening. His desire is for his own people to finally wake up and get it. Oh how we need to pray for those we love who are still blind and deaf to these truths! May God exchange their hearts of stone for hearts of flesh, soft and yielded to Him!

My verse: Isaiah 42:20 “You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.”

My response: OH the dangers of lethargy and indifference! Lord, don’t let me grow lazy. When I recognize what is right, help me to act. When You speak, help me to listen!


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